Tuesday, July 10, 2007


I had another one of my satisfying but unproductive weekends again. I did a little laundry, and that was the beginning and end of any useful efforts on my part.

I did go on an excellent bike ride. The plan was to show Sarah, Zina, and her boyfriend John the Arlington Triangle, starting from Shirlington. Unfortunately, due to bike and car troubles, Zina and John were unable to join us this time.

The Triangle encompasses some of my favorite trails in the DC area. We headed up the Four Mile Run trail, to keep in the shade and close to the creek - it was extremely hot. The we crossed over to the W&OD, a converted rail trail that parallels most of the Four Mile Run. From there we double back onto the Custis trail, which runs mostly downhill to Rosslyn along I-66. From there onto the Mt. Vernon Trail along the river, back to the Four Mile Run and up to Shirlington.

I really enjoy the W&OD, since it is a nice, easy grade and straight. Well maintained, too. It runs all the way out to someplace called Purcellville, but I've only been as far as Wolf Trap. The Custis trail is not nearly as nice - nothing much to see, not in as nice shape. I love the Mount Vernon, though - it's in good shape, but the views are what make it. You go from Teddy Roosevelt Island, and it opens up onto the river. You can see most of the major monuments, the Capitol Dome, etc. There are cooling breezes off the Potomac, and the whole thing runs uninterrupted through parks, save for a short stretch in Old Town Alexandria.

I usually ride these trails on my own, so it is a particular pleasure to have people go with. Though it does give me some trouble - turns out I only have 3 speeds while biking: stopped, coasting, and going as fast as I can. I have to follow someone else to match pace (if I can).

There was one particularly humorous moment from this ride. I was riding ahead, and came up behind a father and young daughter. She was on one of those pedaling trailers for kids, so they can pedal some and help out. Well, she looked back at me, and I couldn't help myself. I started pulling faces, baring and gnashing my teeth.

"Daddy, go faster!"

And she starts pedaling like the devil himself is chasing her. I got carried away and tried to pace them as they accelerated, but Sarah said that while this was all hilarious we didn't really need to keep up. With the heat, and the 12+ miles we had left to cover, that was a smart call on her part.

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